Bare Wealth Advisors Update

We wanted to give you an update on Bare Wealth Advisors’ response to the developing coronavirus situation.

First, we want to keep lines of our communication open with you and be available to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have over the upcoming weeks.  We understand the concerns you may have related to your investment accounts and the potential impact on your financial plan.  If there are any short-term changes to your financial situation, please contact as soon as possible.  In any situation, we will continue to provide advice based on the timeless principles in God’s Word.

Second, while we will remain open, we are limiting the number of in-office meetings we have.  If you are scheduled in the next few weeks, we will reach out to you regarding your meeting.  Based on various factors, we will be holding meetings via phone or Skype.

We will have staff available to receive any checks for deposit into your accounts.  You can either mail these in or drop them off at the office.  We will also have a licensed advisor available to speak to you via phone during our normal business hours.

While we think the size of our team and our office location are not conducive to spreading the virus, our first priority is the safety and health of our employees and clients. Also, as Americans we want to be part of the solution to minimizing the serious effects of this virus. By taking these steps, we can help protect our team and their loved ones, you our clients, and contribute to our country moving forward.  This is a developing situation with governments both locally and nationally issuing updates, so we will keep you up to date on how these effects our day to day operations.

Additionally, if you are at a higher-risk of getting sick, please let us know if we can assist you in any way with getting items you may need for daily living.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

The Bare Wealth Advisors Team

Market Update

by Ron Bare

As mentioned in our previous blog, the Bare Wealth Advisors team believe in helping our clients make financial decisions flowing out of a comprehensive financial plan based on your values and goals. However, we do understand that the current health situation with the virus and also the implications of how this effects your financial goals is probably on your mind. With that in mind, we wanted to share a few thoughts on fear and also a few principles we believe.

Since fear levels in our country (and world) are at high levels, we thought it would be good to share some thoughts and principles related to fear and finances. I have heard that the Bible says do not fear (or be afraid) somewhere close to 365 times, one for each day. This is clearly to remind us that our nature is to fear the unknown and the circumstance we may be faced with. I was reminded in our church service this past week to read Psalms 91 (too long to type in this blog – I suggest going to the YouVersion Bible app to read). Reading this and other scripture is a great way to actively combat fear in our lives and for those we care about.

In addition, as we make financial decisions, we believe reviewing a few basic principles can be effective when we live in times of uncertainty. Here are a few to consider:

  1. God is the owner of all things, including our money (Psalm 24:1). This reminds us we are stewards and should work hard to manage what has been entrusted to us; however, we are not expected to have a crystal ball based on future events that may or may not happen.
  2. Live within your means and be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5)
  3. Minimize the use of debt
  4. Build liquidity and have some money put back in savings for the unexpected and for income that you may need in the short term (our planning process accounts for these items)
  5. Think long term – the longer term your perspective typically will help you make better financial decisions. (Think back to the financial crisis of 2008 – 12 years ago, we have recovered well)
  6. Give generously – personally I believe this to be a very important step in coming up against fear we may have. Fear causes us to hold tight to what we have rather than have an open hand, look to help someone in need or bless a cause or mission you believe in.

In summary, one of our core values at Bare Wealth is Biblical wisdom. We believe that when we manage our lives and finances according to Biblical principles we can experience:

  1. Contentment under all economic conditions
  2. Confidence in financial decision making
  3. Maximize the use of money, our talents and time for what matters most to us

As always feel free to contact our team with questions on your plan/investments or concerns related to what is happening in our world, we care about you and your family.

Also, please pass this on to any family or friends who may benefit from reading this.

Market Update

by Ron Bare

One thing I have learned, working in the financial services industry over the past 24 years, is by having your investment decisions flow out of a comprehensive personal financial plan, based on your values and goals, is essential to making wise decisions over time. The moment you separate your investment decisions and make them independently of a comprehensive financial plan is when those decisions are made based on emotions, news events, or other items that do not point back towards your values and goals.

If you have worked with Bare Wealth for any length of time, you know we believe in planning around our client’s purpose, values and goals and letting these items drive all decision making. However, we do understand when world events cause large movements in the financial markets, feelings of concern may arise regarding how these shifts may impact your objectives. With that in mind, we do not want to be silent when events, such as the coronavirus, influence the markets with an 11% drop in one week.

In case this has caused any concern (or fear) related to life or your finances, we want to assure you that unless your goals or short-term financial needs have changed, it is best not to react to these news events. Let your financial plan have the time it needs to properly help carry out your goals.  As always, we are here to take any questions or inquiries surrounding these events. In the meantime, lets pray for the families impacted by the virus and pray that a solution would be developed to stop the spread of the disease.

Year of Vision

by Ron Bare

As mentioned in our “Yearly Update Letter,” 2020 is Bare Wealth Advisors’ Year of Vision.

At the beginning of this year, I (Ron) set some time aside to get alone with God and to focus on HIS vision for 2020.  As I did, something stirred in my heart. God helped me see that during the last two decades, He has been developing my influence… my voice… and my abilities to move towards solutions to some problems in our world.  As I wrote down the vision I felt God gave me, I closed my laptop that day and was excited to begin taking steps towards accomplishing what God had just planted in my heart.

How about you?  Have you taken time to get alone with God as this new year has begun? If not, I would encourage you to! I feel confident that as you desire to hear from and seek Him, He will begin to unfold a vision for you with the gifting’s He has developed in you.

Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Some versions of this verse replace perish with “the people cast off restraint”. Several versions of Proverbs 29:18 actually replace the word vision with “revelation” or “divine guidance” which may give us a better picture of what this actually is. What this verse is saying is that without godly vision for your life, or revelation from God, we are left to perish or “run wild”. God’s revelation is His Word!  At Bare Wealth, we have seen this to be true especially in the area of finance. Without using God’s wisdom given in His Word and without formulating a plan or vision for your finances, mistakes are more easily made. In addition, if there is no order or restraint –financial problems (too much debt, too little margin, very little impact, no contentment, etc.)– all begin to surface.

Aligning our “vision” or plans with God’s divine revelation is the ultimate goal. What we all need to ask ourselves to help us gain clarity in our vision is this question: What has God shown me and what will I do with what I have been given?

Many of us have been given much not only in the financial area of life, but also talents, relationships, education, experiences, time etc. Those who have been given much have a higher level of responsibility and accountability (Luke 12:48). With a focus on Vision in 2020, we hope to help each family we serve better answer the above questions and take steps to help you gain a clearer vision in your finances, relationships, and many other areas of your life – ultimately in your God given purpose. Here is what I believe will happen if we are successful managing our lives with a greater vision:  we will have great impact, improved relationships, increased adventure and fun, and gain eternal rewards.

Clarity in Planning

Driving into work today the classic 1972 Johnny Nash song “I Can See Clearly Now” came strolling into my mind.  It made me first break out in song and then contemplate the blessing of sight and finally consider how this year is going to be the Year of Vision at Bare Wealth Advisors.  You will hear more about our Year of Vision throughout the year but for now I simply want to focus on seeing clearly or having clarity.

Did you know that eyes are made up of 2 million working parts?  Or that your eye is the fastest muscle in your body?  I regularly take my eyes for granted and forget that my vision is one of the greatest gifts I have.  However, when I forget my glasses or get something in my eyes and lose the clarity of vision, it’s an easy reminder how critical it is to see clearly.

As a financial advisor, one of the areas we excel at is giving financial clarity to our clients.  It’s more than just wealth management and insurance products based on your age and risk tolerance.  These might provide a course but cannot provide full clarity.  Once we get a chance to walk through a full financial plan, understanding a client’s core values in addition to their financial goals and circumstances, we can provide a lot of clarity as to the path they are on and help them answer the question of “how much is enough?” in many areas of their financial lives.

We’re looking forward to 2020 and hope to see you soon!  As the Johnny Nash chorus continues, “It’s gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshiny day”.

Year of Generosity in Review

2019 has been Bare Wealth Advisors’ Year of Generosity. We find it helpful to create a theme each year to help us be more intentional in a certain area of our financial lives. Without intentionality in our lives we are prone to coast along with life reacting to life events and circumstances. This is true in our financial lives as much as in any area of life. As we wrap up another year, I thought it would be good to make one last effort to emphasize the importance of generosity in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.

In 2 Corinthians 8:7, the Apostle Paul tells us to excel in our acts of giving – similar to how we would want to excel in other areas of life such as our knowledge, speech, faith etc. If you are alive more than 12 years, you probably know that to excel or get better in something you need to work at it and plan for it to actually improve. Think of a professional athlete such as Michael Jordan-the best basketball player ever to play the game (sorry, Lebron James fans). Although he was naturally gifted as an athlete and basketball player, he was also the one that put in the most hours a day practicing and mastering his game. The same is true for financial management as well as our generosity. We may be naturally generous, having a desire to help other people.  However, with unlimited options on how we spend our time and money, we are often pulled away from using our resources for others in efforts to “better” our own lives resulting in more things or time commitments.

The only way to improve or excel in our effort to live a generous life is to plan, set goals, and take steps towards generosity. Begin by asking yourself: “What does generosity look like for me considering what I have been given?” The Bible tells us that to whom much is given, much is expected.  This means we have a great responsibility with what we manage. Many in America have been given much and,  we are the most generous nation in the world by many statistics. However, a deeper look into this says we have room for improvement. The average American gives about 2% of their income.  While this is slightly better at 2.6% for someone who regularly attends a weekly worship service, it still falls short in many ways considering the wealth we have in our possession. During the Great Depression, average giving percentage was 3.5% of income, despite extremely difficult times. There are many studies that show as our income increases, we give a lower percent of our income to help other people. Why?

Perhaps because we do not think about being intentional or how we can improve in this area like we do areas such as fitness, our jobs, parenting, etc. Why not set giving or generosity goals each year that push us forward from the prior year? Think about giving a bit more to help others or possibly one percent more of your income than the prior year. Think about how we can use our time to help those in need around us such as volunteering an hour more per week so we can physically help someone in a tough situation. A good exercise is near the end of the year pull out your calendar and your checkbook (or online account) and reflect on how you spent your time and money in 2019, does it align with what you most value in life? If not, set some goals in both areas to be more generous and others focused in 2020.

I read recently that if the average church attender gave 10% of their income (a tithe or tenth is often taught in the Scriptures) there would be additional resources to solve problems such as:  world hunger,  deaths from preventable diseases, the world’s clean water and sanitation concerns, all world mission efforts would be funded, and all illiteracy concerns would be solved.  Not only would these problems be solved but there would also be $100 billion left over to fund local needs in our communities. With this in mind, I could argue that if we all pushed forward with more generosity, we could drastically improve the lives of people around the world! In addition, when we take part in generous acts there is a supernatural joy and fulfillment that comes that cannot be matched by any earthly possessions.

To wrap up Bare Wealth Advisors. Year of Generosity, let me encourage and invite you to take part of generous acts of service in 2020 and beyond. Together we can move the needle of generosity from where we are today to where we can leave a legacy well beyond what we can imagine if we are intentional in this area of our lives. After 23 years of working with families such as yours in the area of financial management and decision making, I can honestly say I have NEVER met an unhappy generous person.

Tell Your Story

As you know this is our Year of Generosity and one of the interesting things about generosity is that it’s always easier to tell someone else’s story of generosity than our own.  We are quick to quote Matthew 6 when Jesus said “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”  We take that sentence out of the rest of the Sermon of the Mount and fear “losing our reward” if we tell someone about our giving.

Yet the sections of Matthew 6 on giving, prayer, fasting, treasures, and worry are all about the heart of why we do what we do.  In speaking about giving, Jesus said don’t be like those who do it “to be honored by men”.  What if our cheerful giving to the Glory of God included “spurring others on in love and good deeds”?   Generous Giving is on a mission to see the generosity of God displayed through the generosity of God’s people.   Since it’s football season we thought we’d include a story below of a Quarterback’s generosity journey.

 

A Season for Everything…

As you turn the calendar to October and we roll into the Fall season, the air is turning cooler and the farm fields are being harvested.  Pumpkins are filling the roadside stands and their flavor and smell is infused into everything possible…drinks, foods, candles.  Personally, I love the crisp cool air, the opportunity to open the windows in the house throughout the day, and sitting by a fire in the evenings over the weekend.  With all the above changes, we’re also brought to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.  Ready or not, if you’re eligible for Medicare you will soon have more kindling material that you can burn in those fire pits!

First of all, what is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?  Well, each year between October 15th and December 7th is a time frame that allows those with Medicare a chance to sign up for, change, or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan.  During this 7 to 8 week period you are afforded the most flexibility to make changes.  If you desire to review your coverage or if you know a change is needed, then it is best to use this time frame to accomplish that.

What things may necessitate a meeting? In life the one constant is change.  If you had changes to your health, whether that is to prescriptions that you’re taking, seeing a new doctor, or even anticipating a procedure in the upcoming year, it would be a great time to review your current coverage.  Another consideration to keep in mind is how the plans themselves change.  If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan you will receive an Annual Notice of Change booklet.  Though it isn’t the most exciting read, it is an important one!  I would suggest you review the booklet.  Also know that we would be happy to discuss those changes with you.

Do I have to call or sign anything to keep my current coverage?  Generally, NO.  If your current plan is continuing into 2020, you’re satisfied with the way it worked, and you understand the upcoming changes in coverage, then you do not need to do anything.  There are times that plans will be discontinued and you will be notified of your need to sign up for a new plan in the AEP.  If you do have questions about your existing coverage or about other plans that are available, please give our office a call and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Is there any cost to meet with an agent to sign up or make changes?  No; even if you decide to keep your current plan there is no charge for a review meeting.  You also will not pay more if you were to sign up for insurance through an agent compared to buying it directly from the company.

This year don’t let the Annual Enrollments Season overwhelm you.  Please give me a call if you would like a personal review of your coverage for upcoming year and to be sure you are in a plan that makes sense for your situation.

You can reach me at 717-407-5200 or Jim@barewealthadvisors.com.

Financial Advisor is a Registered Representative of and offers securities through Securities America Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial advisory services are offered through Securities America Advisors Inc. Bare Financial Services, Inc. dba Bare Wealth Advisors and the Securities America companies are independently owned.

 

Living Beyond “90/10” Generosity

As we continue to explore what generosity looks like this year, we found this video inspiring and think you will too!  A life of generosity can encompass so much more than monetary donations.  Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.

This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .

Removing Old Fences

Recently I sat in a client meeting where we were starting to map out a farm succession plan for a family and the husband quoted G.K. Chesterton by saying “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”.  It sounded catchy but it didn’t quite click so I asked him to repeat it.  I have thought of this moment now several times since.  This really speaks to the core of why we do financial planning.  When it comes to money and investment decisions, too often we let our emotions get in the way.  That is why at Bare Wealth Advisors we don’t just pick investments or stick our clients in products that fit us…rather we take the time to work on values and purpose to keep our financial goals in alignment.  These life values and purposes are really the fence put up to give the framework for a financial plan.  So, when the storms of life or the market cause mountains and valleys on the dot chart of our statements we can be here to remind you why the fence was put up in the first place.  Having an advisor that can call you back to your values and to the plan is key when volatility seems to be the norm.

If you already partner with us on your stewardship journey, thank you for trusting us to help you build the fence.  If you don’t work with an advisor that calls you to value based decisions we would love if you would consider us.

By Lamar King